Preparing for the Electric Vehicle Surge

Zoning Practice — October 2022

By Brian Ross, AICP, Jessica Hyink, Rebecca Heisel


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Electric vehicles (EVs) are a rapidly growing sector of our nation’s (and the world’s) light-duty vehicle market. In the second quarter of 2022, EV sales accelerated, reaching 442,740 and marking a 12.9 percent increase from the same time last year. During the same period, traditional gasoline-powered vehicle sales were down more than 20 percent compared to the second quarter in 2021

The transforming market has implications for communities and for local governments, including land-use and development changes that need to be addressed in policy, programs, and regulation. In particular, planners and local government decision makers need to consider the land-use implications of the extensive build-out of EV charging infrastructure that is a necessary part of this new technology.

This issue of Zoning Practice identifies the land-use implications of the ongoing EV market transformation, particularly the considerations that communities need to address in regard to public EV charging infrastructure. It describes the significant differences between gas and electric vehicles in fueling practices, the unique land-use nature of EV charging equipment, and the evolving zoning practices that communities across the country are using for public (i.e., non-home) charging equipment and land use. Finally, this issue recommends some tools for assessing zoning considerations of EV charging infrastructure and shares examples of best practices that enable transparent and predictable zoning practices across jurisdictions.


Page Count
Date Published
Oct. 1, 2022
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American Planning Association

About the Authors

Brian Ross, AICP
<p>Brian Ross, AICP, leads GPI's renewable energy program, helping local, state and regional governments on clean energy, climate, and sustainability initiatives. He works on renewable and clean energy policy and land use regulation, state rules, utility integration, and market transformation efforts. Brian led development of state-specific model ordinances, land use best practices, and renewable energy planning guidance resources for six Midwestern states and provided technical assistance to dozens of communities on clean and resilient energy development. Brian helps lead the ground-breaking national PV-SMaRT project on the nexus of large-scale solar and host community surface water quality. He helped create GPI's pilot "EV-Ready Communities" recognition program that is underway in Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota and advises communities across the nation on EV-Smart zoning. Brian guided the creation of the Climate Champions program for APA's Sustainable Communities Division and serves on the national technical advisory team for the SolSmart solar-ready certification program. </p>

Jessica Hyink

Rebecca Heisel